Local search provider YP has been investing in its mobile app, doing brand advertising and generally seeking ways to better compete with rivals such as Google, Foursquare and Yelp. It doesn’t have the reach of Google or the content of Yelp but with its mybook feature the company may have found a way.
MyBook was soft-launched in 2013 and formally announced earlier this year. It’s a cross-platform list-making and favorites tool. When signed in users can save business listings and make lists in different categories.
That personalized content can be accessed from any device. Now it can also be shared via email, SMS and through social sites including Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
YP seeded mybook with public “collections” from celebrities and others, lists such as “America’s Most Iconic Restaurants” and “America’s Fabulous Hotel Pools.” However YP hopes that users will fill up their mybooks with more mundane and utilitarian lists of landscapers, plumbers, painters and restaurants — and share them across social media sites.
According to former Yahoo Darren Clark, who is now YP’s CTO, mybook has 2 million users who create lists on both the web and in the YP mobile app.
Mybook not only creates greater user engagement but it offers YP a window into cross-platform behavior and other valuable data (e.g., most saved businesses in specific categories and geographies). It’s also a shrewd content creation strategy as an alternative to reviews and tips.
YP still needs to drive awareness and adoption of mybook for the strategy to pay off. Accordingly, the company has just launched a multi-city U.S. “truck tour” where a YP food truck offers local treats and demos of the company’s app and mybook in particular.